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In the early mornings of January 20th 2015, the mayor of Santa Eulalia, Huehuetenango, Guatemala, Diego Marcos, shot at a crowd of peaceful protesters outside a government building, as accounted for by many eye-witnesses. The crowd was exiting the Administrative Justice Center after many hours of negotiation regarding environmental damages by the Proyecto de Desarrollo Hidroelectrico (PDH), a hydroelectric company. The shots injured several people but two suffered critical wounds. Twenty-year-old Pascual Basilio, from a nearby village, was one of the severely wounded victims. He was transferred to a hospital in Quiche.

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On February 25, 2015 the Guatemalan National Police and the Public Ministry once again raided two community radio stations, this time in Chichicastenango, Quiche, a popular tourist destination. Radio Swan Tinamit and Radio Ixmukane both serve important audiences in Chichicastenango. Radio Swan Tinamit is mostly staffed by youth, and the topics they cover include the rights of Indigenous Peoples, youth participation in leadership, and Indigenous traditions, among others. Radio Ixmukane is mostly staffed by women, as the radio was founded as part of and is housed by Asociacion de Mujeres Ixmukane (Ixmukane Womens’ Association). Radio Ixmukane focuses on women’s rights, education on domestic abuse, and reproductive rights.

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On an average day out of adobe bricks, the Tucson Indigenous Adobe Initiative is building school ovens and sculptures of gila monsters, a lizard native to the southwestern United States with meaning in many local Indigenous cultures, and that’s just to keep the momentum going. The initiative is associated with Sustainable Nations, a privately and individually funded group working to support the economic, ecological, and cultural sustainability of Indigenous communities.

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More than 50 Indigenous delegates are participating in the meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The meeting, known as CSW59, takes place from March 9th to the 20th in New York.

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On February 26th, 2015, three community leaders who oppose the building of a hydroelectric dam in Santa Cruz Barillas, Guatemala,  were arrested under what community members insist are false charges.

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From March 9 to 20, 2015, thousands of women will be meeting in New York City for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) at the United Nations. Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and non-governmental organizations will be gathering to evaluate the progress in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which was originally adopted 20 years ago in 1995.

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This past October, the Port Gamble S’klallam Tribe was one of four other tribes to receive the Honoring Nations award for excellence in the governance, effectiveness, and sustainability for their Child Welfare Program. Awarded by the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe was one of six finalists to receive the award. To continue their line of firsts, the Port Gamble S’klallam Tribe has also recently become the first tribe to qualify for the Title IV-E waiver, which will allow them more flexibility in how “family” is defined and financial allocation.

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The legalization of community radio stations has been an on-going struggle for Indigenous communities in Guatemala for almost 20 years. Community radio stations operate in the fear of being raided by the Guatemalan Public Ministry because the current telecommunications law does not allow for non-profit community radio—despite its guarantee in the 1996 Peace Accords, the Guatemalan Constitution, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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Walking down the streets of the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, one can hear merchants speak to their family and friends in many indigenous languages, such as variations of the Zapoteco and Mixteco. With 15 out of the 62 recognized ethnolinguistic groups in Mexico, Oaxaca is one of the most diverse states in the country.

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The World Bank has failed to properly enforce its environmental and social guidelines regarding Indigenous Peoples in Africa. According to a leaked report obtained by  the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the Bank knew there was an “operational link’’  between its funding for an Ethiopian development initiative and the forced evictions of thousands of Indigenous Peoples. 

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Four days of violent conflict within a natural gas concession known as Block 108 in the Junin province of Peru led to the death of 25-year-old protestor Ever Perez Huaman. Huaman was allegedly killed by a gunshot wound to the abdomen, and many other protestors were injured and subject to tear gas fired at them by police. The area in conflict, whose ecosystems are threatened by Peru’s largest oil and gas producer Pluspetrol, is home to Indigenous Chanchamayo communities.

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